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Enter, with attendants, Orestes and Pylades before the palace

Orestes
Boy! Boy! Hear my knocking at the outer door! Who is inside? Boy! Boy! I say again, who is at home? Again for the third time I call for some one to come out of the house, [655] if by Aegisthus' will it offers welcome to strangers.

Servant
Yes, yes, I hear. Of what land is the stranger, and whence?

Orestes
Announce me to the masters of the house, for it is in fact to them that I come bearing news. And hurry, since the chariot of night is speeding on with darkness, [660] and it is time for wayfarers to drop anchor in some house friendly to all guests. Tell some one to come forth who has authority over the house, the mistress in charge. But the master would be more fitting, for then no delicacy in speaking makes words obscure: [665] man speaks boldly to man and reveals his meaning without reserve.The Servant withdraws. Clytaemestra appears at the door with a maid-servant in attendance

Clytaemestra
Strangers, you have only to declare your need, for we have everything that suits this house: warm baths, beds to charm away fatigue, [670] and the presence of honest faces. But if there is another matter requiring graver counsel, that is the concern of men, and we will communicate with them.

Orestes
I am a stranger, a Daulian of the Phocians. As I was on my way, carrying my pack on business of my own to Argos, [675] just as I ended my journey here,1 a man, a stranger to me as I to him, fell in with me, and inquired about my destination and told me his. He was Strophius, a Phocian (for as we talked I learned his name), and he said to me, “Stranger, since in any case you are bound for Argos, [680] keep my message in mind most faithfully and tell his parents Orestes is dead, and by no means let it escape you. Whether his friends decide to bring him home or to bury him in the land of his sojourn, a foreigner utterly forever, convey their wishes back to me. [685] In the meantime a bronze urn contains the ashes of a man rightly lamented.” This much I tell you as I heard it. Whether by any chance I am speaking to those with whom the question rests and whose concern it is, I do not know. But his parent should know the truth. [690]

1 Literally “I have been unyoked,” his feet being his horses.

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